Spring Itinerary

Only a limited number of bookings remain for this spring small group tour experience. Contact us today to reserve your spot on this exclusive journey through Tuscany and Umbria.

Be inspired and amazed on this exclusive group tour of Tuscany and Umbria.

Day 1 Buongiorno, Welcome to Italy!

Prepare to discover something extraordinary around every corner and indulge your senses while experiencing the very best small group tour of Tuscany and Umbria. We’ll meet you at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport at Fiumicino at 11:00am. We then travel north in our first class coach to Montecatini Terme, Italy’s biggest spa-town.

Stopping for lunch along the road to Tuscany, you’ll arrive in the mid afternoon in plenty of time to explore this spectacular first stop on your Tuscany and Umbria tour.

You’ll then have time to unpack and settle into your centrally based hotel before celebrating your arrival in Tuscany with a welcome glass of Prosecco followed by a delicious dinner.

Meals: Welcome drinks, Dinner

Day 2 Lucca, encircled by intact Renaissance walls 

Enjoy an early morning walk around Montecatini followed by a delicious breakfast before we head off to the historic town of Lucca, the birthplace of Puccini. In Lucca we meet our very own local tour guide for a short guided tour of this beautiful town.

A wealthy town since the days of the Romans, Lucca became a centre for banking and the silk trade between the 11th and 14th centuries.

Following this tour, the afternoon is yours to make your own discoveries in Lucca. Enjoy the atmosphere in the oval shaped Piazza Anfiteatro, climb the Guinigi Tower and take in the spectacular views of the Tuscan hills, hire a bicycle and ride the complete ring of the city walls or perhaps take in some history at the Puccini Museum.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3 Step back to the Medieval Days 

San Gimignano, boasting the skyline of its famed medieval towers, is an incredible example of a Medieval walled hilltop town. Touring San Gimignano may remind you of a famous movie, as these towers were featured in the film Tea with Mussolini.

San Gimignano is the centre for a number of contemporary art galleries in addition to local artisans such as jewellery craftsman, potters, weavers, wood carvers and so much more. For lunch you may want to try the local dry white wine, Vernaccia.

If time allows, you will also take a short trip to Volterra, famous for its alabaster. This town of great architectural interest is perched 629m above the sea level, between the rivers Era and Cecina in Tuscany. Its height and isolation have preserved much of its original character.

There are extraordinary examples of alabaster carvings throughout the town.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 Explore the Jewels of the Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is a National Park and UNESCO World Heritage site. The Cinque Terre, which means Five Lands, is comprised of the five small coastal villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso clinging perilously to the cliffs of the Italian region of Liguria.

Weather permitting, we travel by ferry along this magnificent coastline providing a stunning panoramic view of ancient terraced vineyards and the five villages.

You have plenty of free time for exploring the spectacular Cinque Terre.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 Florence 

For a change in pace you hop on the local train to Florence, the capital of Tuscany. On our arrival we will be met by our local tour guide who will take us on a guided journey of the iconic monuments surrounding the central piazzas of Florence, and also some of the lesser known medieval backstreets.

Following the tour, you’ll have time to discover Florence at your leisure. Florence is not just the cradle of the Renaissance and an open-air museum.

This city is famous for luxury boutiques, antique stores, local artisan workshops and incredible food markets, not to mention the leather and the jewellery.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 Chianti and Cooking 

If you love to cook, we can arrange an opportunity for you to work hands on with an Italian chef in her kitchen to prepare a traditional Tuscan lunch. There is the added bonus that you will be doing it all in an 11th century monastery using products grown and produced on the property.

For the non-cooks there is the option to explore further into the Chianti Hills. Lunch can be arranged at a local osteria, Italian style which means whatever the cook feels like creating on the day.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Welcome to Pisa, a city known the world over for its Leaning Tower. Pisa was once a major maritime power, and the Leaning Tower is just one of the buildings which make up the Campo dei Miracoli.

The Campo also includes the Duomo, the Baptistery and Camposanto.

You will see these iconic sites and we have arranged a tour that will show you around some of the back streets and hidden gems of the city.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 Time to take in the view

Take some time to explore Montecatini Terme or take a ride on the 100 year old funicular to Montecatini Alto for a spectacular view of the valley below. Montecatini Alto is the original Montecatini settlement, situated a few hundred metres above the ‘new’ town.

Enjoy the outstanding views from here and the delightful Piazza Giusti, home to some bars and restaurants.

Relax and unwind, enjoying lunch and a bottle of wine amongst the locals and international visitors. If you choose to stay in Montecatini Terme for the day, you can explore the spas and maybe have a treatment. Alternatively, perhaps visit the designer boutiques that you have been glancing at all week.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9 The Umbrian Life

It’s time to experience Umbrian way of life as we travel to the picturesque town of Montefalco. For lunch we stop at Passignano on Lago Trasimeno, the largest lake in Tuscany. The lakeside promenade shows the lake in all its splendour.

Our stay is on an agriturismo (farm stay) surrounded by a characteristic Umbrian landscape of olive trees and vineyards. On your arrival at about mid afternoon, there will be time for an orientation stroll through the historic centre of Montefalco, a town rich in art and tradition.

Meals: Breakfast Dinner

Day 10 Exploring Bevagna

Majolica pottery is a more than 500 year old tradition in Umbria and the town of Deruta is considered to be the world capital of this specialist craft. To start the day there’s a visit to a local potter and his family in Deruta who still practice this ancient craft using the traditional colours and designs.

We travel to the delightful village of Bevagna a living medieval masterpiece for lunch.

After lunch you will have the rare opportunity to meet medieval craftsmen still practicing ancient lifestyle crafts such as forging coins and making wax candles, paper and silk.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11 Heading into the Mountains 

Driving into the Sibillini Mountains today, we come to Norcia, the birthplace of St Benedict. It is one of Italy’s culinary capitals, known for its butchery skills and the production of classic sausages, salamis, hams and wild boar products. The town is also famous for its truffles and local mountain cheeses.

From Norcia we wind our way up the mountain, to reach the vast expanse of the Piano Grande. Overlooking the Piano Grande is the summit of Monte Vettore that, reaching the height of 2476m, is the highest peak in the Sibillini Mountains.

This is one of those awesome breath taking moments. Sometimes we get lucky and can find a shepherd and his dogs moving his sheep to new pastures. Lunch is a traditional lentil and sausage soup.

Meals: Breakfast Lunch

Day 12 Discover Assisi

Visible for miles around, Assisi sits on the slopes of Mount Subasio overlooking the Vale of Spoleto. It is the birthplace of St Francis, the patron saint of Italy. We will walk through the Basilica with a local art historian to give you with an introduction to the frescos lining the Basilica’s walls, depicting St Francis’ life.

At the opposite end of the town you will find the Duomo of Santa Chiara, friend and protégé of St Francis. High above the town is the Rocca Maggiore. It is well worth the climb for the stunning panoramic view.

Explore your own interests in the beautiful and very historic town at your leisure. Take the time to walk among Assisi’s medieval houses and shops
Local guide.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13 Spello

Spello, is a picturesque, flower decked village perched on a hillside that can be seen from Montefalco. It is surrounded by the largest olive producing area in Italy with olive groves stretching across the hillsides.

On a clear day you can see Assisi and Perugia from the city wall.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14 Sophisticated Perugia

Elevated above the River Tiber, Perugia is the sophisticated capital of Umbria. You can be part of the rich history if you take one of the many self-guided walking tours.

Taking the guided sight-seeing bus tour allows you to get a glimpse of the more distant highlights of this town.

Perugia is the home of Perugina Baci chocolates, known worldwide as the Chocolate Kisses. Perugia is a candidate for the European Capital of Culture 2019. When you explore this city, you’ll understand why.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 15 Food, Wine and Art

This is a day when you can choose between relaxing and soaking up the view, or walking up to Montefalco village to visit those places you have not had time to see during the week. Do you want to try your hand at learning the art of pasta making from a pastaia who makes fresh pasta every day?

We can arrange for you to spend the morning enjoying this ‘hands on’ experience cooking your three course lunch. And then, of course, you will sit on the terrace and enjoy this lunch with a glass of the local Rosso di Montefalco or Sagrantino wine.

For those more inclined to other interests we can arrange a visit to the local linen factory known worldwide for its superb quality linen products. Or perhaps you would prefer a visit to the frantoio or oil mill where the local olive oil producer blends the olives with all the skill and expertise of a wine maker.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16 Welcome to Pienza

This week is spent in the tiny hillside town of Pienza which overlooks the glorious Val D’Orcia (D’Orcia Valley) and is considered to be the jewel in the Tuscan crown. Travelling to Pienza we may stop at the outlet village of Valdichiana for a bit of retail therapy and lunch. Or maybe we can take the ferry to Lake Trasimeno’s fishing island, Isola Maggiore.

Somewhat unusually, the islanders are specialists in making Irish lace! We arrive in Pienza around mid afternoon giving time for a short orientation tour of the town.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 17 Under the Tuscan Sun

This morning you’ll spend some time in romantic Cortona, made famous by the movie Under the Tuscan Sun, which was based on the book by Tuscan local Frances Mayes. Cortona cascades down the hillside from the Church of Santa Margherita to Porta Santa Maria at the very bottom of the town.

From Cortona the view stretches across the Valdichiana, with Lake Trasimeno in the distance. There are clues in the city walls that tell you of the town’s Etruscan heritage, and a visit to MAEC, Cortona’s superb Etruscan museum, is highly recommended.

Leaving Cortona, we travel to Montepulciano. Here we enjoy a wine tasting and lunch Italian style. By Italian style we mean several hours and several courses. You can be guaranteed it will be spectacular.

Following lunch you can wander the streets checking out, amongst other things, the many suppliers of the superb local wines, Rosso di Montepulciano and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 18 Think Palio, horse racing Siena style 

Siena is known for the famous Palio horse race held in the Piazza del Campo twice a year. We can arrange a special opportunity for you to visit the unique Palio museum and hear the details of how the horse and jockey are prepared for this unusual race.

We visit the Duomo with its marble floors depicting biblical and mythological events and depending on availability, you may wish to tour the ceiling of the Duomo. From this vantage point you can see the entire church. Following the tour, take some time to self-explore and visit the museum, the Torre del Mangia or taste the local Panforte the local spicy ‘cake’.

Your group tour guide can offer great suggestions for other excellent places to visit.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 19 Paintings by Piero della Francesca 

Today you visit Arezzo, a major centre for goldsmiths, jewellery and antiques and one of the wealthiest cities in Tuscany.

This ancient town sits on top of a hillside in south eastern Tuscany at the crossroads of four valleys, the Val Tiberina, Casentino, Valdarno and Valdichiana.

Our local guide will introduce the town and the famous frescoes painted by Piero della Francesca depicting the Legend of the True Cross. For the film buffs among you, the town was one of the stunning locations featured in the movie Life is Beautiful.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 20 Brunello Wines

Today you will visit some of the smaller towns and villages in the region, including the hot springs of Bagno Vignone. Take a small towel, relax and take in a foot-spa, soaking up all the natural minerals, a treat for your tour weary feet. Feet refreshed, you move on to the classic hill town of Montalcino.

The twenty three hectares of vineyards around the town produce the world’s number one wine, Brunello, one of Italy most prestigious and highly prized wines.

We wander through the vineyards to a local winery. This winery is owned by a mother and her daughter who is an award winning wine maker. We enjoy a light lunch and the opportunity to sample some of this nectar of the gods.

Following lunch there is time to wander through the delightful little village of Montalcino.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 21 Experiencing Pienza

Get to know the wonderful little town of Pienza. This town was designed by the architect Rossellino for Pope Pius II as the ‘Ideal City’ and it is built on the site of the Pope’s home town, Corsignano. This complete Renaissance creation has some interesting engineering features which were quite remarkable for the 1400s.

Try to visit the Palazzo Piccolomini with its rooftop garden overlooking the Val d’Orcia, built as a summer home for the Pope. A ten minute walk down the hill is the delightful little Pieve di Corsignano, the original parish church of the village. Its origins are ancient and the current building dates back to the 1100s.

Walking along the main street, Corso Rossellini, you can’t help but be drawn by the aroma of cheese. Stop and sample some of this beautiful locally made pecorino (sheep) cheese or perhaps try one of the local specialities, Pappardelle al Cinghiale (pappardelle with wild boar sauce).

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 22 Arrivederci 

With 22 days of new memories that will last a lifetime, it’s time to travel back to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport, Fiumicino, stopping for coffee along the way, and arriving at around 11:30am. Whether you’re staying on in Rome, travelling to other parts of Europe, or heading home, we wish you the safest of travels.

We encourage you to share your stories and photos with us on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter streams. Thank you for choosing to travel with Carolinasusi Italia Tours.

Meals: Breakfast

Note: The itinerary is subject to change. Due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather conditions and other elements out of our control, some items on the itinerary may change during the course of the tour.